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de Lara, D. P., Ejrnaes, M., Casaburi, A., Lisitskiy, M., Cristiano, R., Pagano, S., et al. (2008). Feasibility investigation of NbN nanowires as detector in time-of-flight mass spectrometers for macromolecules of interest in biology (proteins). J. Low Temp. Phys., 151(3-4), 771–776.
Abstract: We are investigating the possibility of using NbN nanowires as detectors in time-of-flight mass spectrometers for investigation of macromolecules of interest in biology (proteins). NbN nanowires could overcome the two major drawbacks encountered so far by cryogenic detectors, namely the low working temperature in the mK region and the slow temporal response. In fact, NbN nanowires can work at 5 K and the response time is at least a factor 10–100 better than that of other cryogenic detectors. We present a feasibility study based on a numerical code to calculate the response of a NbN nanowire. The parameter space is investigated at different energies from IR to macromolecules (i.e. from eV to keV) in order to understand if larger value of film thickness and width can be used for the keV energy region. We also present preliminary experimental results of irradiation with X-ray photons of NbN to simulate the effect of macromolecules of the same energy.